Tooth and Nail's newest artist, Nine Lashes, is releasing their debut album World We View. Their name comes from the instrument of torture used on Christ, the cat of nine tails. The name is not meant to invoke fear, but instead serve as a reminder of the love our Creator has shown and the pain He endured to save us. Though their independent release, Escape, was slightly darker musically, they build off the promise shown on that effort with better production this time around. Tooth and Nail obviously believes in this band and show it by getting rock and metal stalwarts Trevor McNevan and Ryan Clark (Thousand Foot Krutch and Demon Hunter, respectively) into the mix with vocals on the tracks "Adrenaline" and "Our Darkest Day." If you are not familiar with the band's work, think of a mix of Red and 12 Stones with a dash of TFK.
Speaking of Trevor (and his appendix... check the band's bio on T&N for details), he is actually the one that is responsible for the band's signing to Tooth and Nail. The question is, "Did Tooth and Nail sign a Red wanna-be, or did they sign a legitimate rock band?" The answer: These guys are most definitely legitimate. While there is no doubt a similarity in their style and sound, Nine Lashes show enough growth from their indie release and enough diversity in sound to stand on their own. They are not just another carbon copy, cookie-cutter rock band.
The album kicks off with good energy, and a very strong Red influence, with the lead single, "Anthem of the Lonely," and "The Intervention." Both songs offer up solid modern rock that will have you bobbing your head and singing along in no time. The third track and second song released from the album, "Get Back," is the first step back. The music takes on a party vibe like something label mate Since October would do. The falsetto "Oh oh oh oh oooh" repeated throughout the song is unnecessary filler and begins to grate on the nerves after a while. The album, however, quickly gets back on track with "Afterglow," the only repeat from their indie release. No major changes were made to the song and the recording sounds fairly close to the original.
Next up is the voice talents of Trevor McNevan on "Adrenaline." The song takes on a feel of "Phenomenon," by McNevan's own TFK, and gets the album moving again after the slower "Afterglow." Two tracks later is the Ryan Clark-featured "Our Darkest Days." Ryan's growls start two and a half minutes into the track as he screams, "I hereby vow so hear me now. Through the darkest days I will scream Your name aloud." This song features some of the best music and riffs on the album, but Ryan's short appearance gives the song that extra little bite to make it arguably the strongest track on the album.
A few solid rock tunes lead up to the album's finale and another top track, "My Friend." This one is an acoustic driven tune reminiscent of Make Yourself/Morning View era Incubus. Even the vocals remind you of Brandon Boyd on "Drive" or "Mexico." This song quickly went in with my MP3s for easy access, and no doubt, you will be singing along too.
While this Birmingham band has not broken molds in a very stagnant genre of music, they have done enough to give some slight hope. They have taken a popular sound and attempted to make it their own using subtle variations here and there for an enjoyable listening experience. They make you say, "These guys remind me of Red," not ask the question, "Is this a new Red song or b-side?" Nine Lashes have easily released the best modern/hard rock album since Until We Have Faces early last year and, in my opinion, have outdone Red's debut, End of Silence. Kudos to the band for their effort; I look forward to seeing their growth in the future.- PReview date: 1/11/12, written by Michael Weaver of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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